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 20th ASEAN-India Summit

Context:

Prime Minister visited Jakarta, Indonesia at the invitation of Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia. During his visit, PM attended the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and 18th East Asia Summit being hosted by Indonesia as current Chair of ASEAN.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of PM Modi’s Speech at 20th ASEAN-India Summit
  2. 12-Point Proposal for Cooperation
  3. About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Key Highlights of PM Modi’s Speech at 20th ASEAN-India Summit:

  • Emphasis on ASEAN Importance: Highlighted the significance of ASEAN in regional and international affairs.
  • ASEAN Centrality in Indo-Pacific: Reaffirmed ASEAN’s centrality in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • ASEAN in India’s Act East Policy: Stressed that ASEAN is a central pillar of India’s Act East Policy.
  • Synergies with AOIP and IPOI: Pointed out the synergies between India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
  • Theme of ASEAN Summit: Noted that the theme of this year’s ASEAN Summit is ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.’

12-Point Proposal for Cooperation:

  • Presented a 12-point proposal to strengthen India-ASEAN cooperation.
Proposal Highlights:
  • Connectivity and Economic Corridor: Proposed establishing multi-modal connectivity and economic corridors linking South-East Asia, India, West Asia, and Europe.
  • Digital Transformation: Offered to share India’s Digital Public Infrastructure Stack with ASEAN partners.
  • Digital Future Fund: Announced the ASEAN-India fund for Digital Future, focusing on cooperation in digital transformation and financial connectivity.
  • Support to ERIA: Announced renewal of support to the Economic and Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) for enhancing engagement.
  • Global South Issues: Called for raising issues faced by the Global South in multilateral forums.
  • Traditional Medicine Center: Invited ASEAN countries to join the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine being established by WHO in India.
  • Mission LiFE: Called for collaborative efforts on Mission LiFE.
  • Affordable Medicines: Offered to share India’s experience in providing affordable and quality medicines through Jan-Aushadhi Kendras.
  • Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Called for collective action against terrorism, terror financing, and cyber-disinformation.
  • Disaster Resilience: Invited ASEAN countries to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
  • Disaster Management: Advocated for increased cooperation in disaster management.
  • Maritime Safety: Called for enhanced cooperation on maritime safety, security, and domain awareness.

About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.

Members of ASEAN
  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia
  3. Philippines
  4. Singapore
  5. Thailand
  6. Brunei
  7. Vietnam
  8. Laos
  9. Myanmar
  10. Cambodia
ASEAN’s Objectives:
  1. To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
  2. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
  3. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
  4. To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.

A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.

  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
  • In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
  • ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
ASEAN Plus Three

ASEAN Plus Three is a forum that functions as a coordinator of co-operation between the ASEAN and the three East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.

ASEAN Plus Six
  • further integration to improve existing ties of Southeast Asia was done by the larger East Asia Summit (EAS), which included ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The group became ASEAN Plus Six with Australia, New Zealand, and India, and stands as the linchpin of Asia Pacific’s economic, political, security, socio-cultural architecture, as well as the global economy.
  • This group acted as a prerequisite for the planned East Asia Community which was supposedly patterned after the European Community (now transformed into the European Union).
ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA)
  • The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was signed and entered into force in 2010.
  • Under the Agreement, ASEAN Member States and India have agreed to open their respective markets by progressively reducing and eliminating duties on more than 75% coverage of goods.
ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement (AITISA)
  • The ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement was signed in 2014.
  • It contains provisions on transparency, domestic regulations, recognition, market access, national treatment and dispute settlement.
ASEAN-India Investment Agreement (AIIA)
  • The ASEAN-India Investment Agreement was signed in 2014.
  • The Investment Agreement stipulates protection of investment to ensure fair and equitable treatment for investors, non-discriminatory treatment in expropriation or nationalisation as well as fair compensation.
ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA)
  • The ASEAN–India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India.
  • The free trade area came into effect in 2010.
  • The ASEAN–India Free Area emerged from a mutual interest of both parties to expand their economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • India’s Look East policy was reciprocated by similar interests of many ASEAN countries to expand their interactions westward.
  • The signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement paves the way for the creation of one of the world’s largest FTAs – a market of almost 1.8 billion people with a combined GDP of US $ 2.8 trillion.
  • The AIFTA will see tariff liberalisation of over 90% of products traded between the two dynamic regions, including the so-called “special products,” such as palm oil (crude and refined), coffee, black tea and pepper.

-Source: The Hindu


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